Jared and others,
Thanks for your replies. I do see your point and understand what you are getting at.
I’ll post my closing thoughts then leave this alone. My epidemiology text book is ancient, so I admit to using google for some help…
Tracking death rates is not the best way to understand vaccine efficacy. Regarding the graphs you posted… death rates go down over time in part because doctors get better at treating symptoms and stopping the disease from killing people. Patients still suffer and retain the damage from the disease. I agree with the contention that traditional doctors aren't the best at preventative medicine, but in keeping people alive (emergency medicine), they do okay. If you graph disease incidence over time and look at long-term complications (polio for example: permanent nerve, muscle, spinal chord damage, meningitis, paralysis, muscle weakness...), you will note a marked plummet in a very pleasant direction shortly after vaccines are introduced. While your graphs show the death rate steadily decreasing regardless of vaccinations, overlaid data of incidence and disease related problems remain unchanged. Those graphs depict death rates going down, but they are only a small part of the data. I wonder if the folks who disseminate those graphs are purposefully omitting the rest of the data. You have to look at the whole package, data from many trials, across countries, oceans, populations, across long periods of time, etc.
Regarding the statistics you posted. Goldfish also cause cancer. 98% of people with cancer have seen a goldfish at sometime in their lives. I’m just messing with you of course, but that is what ran through my mind with those stats.
Vaccines are not 100% effective, not 100% safe, but pretty darn good in my book(s).
I probably didn’t answer your questions either Jared, but we both had a chance to express our views, so I think we were successful in that regard.
Yael… that was an interesting post. Were I debating vs. me, I would have posted the dollar figures being paid out to folks who have suffered from the potential side effects of some vaccines. But I’m not me in this case. Or am I? Why must you label my essence? (from the immortal words of Tenacious D).
Brad "steadies the boat" Hirakawa